A day in 2011: after a fun afternoon teaching WordPress to a local organization I put a final question to these new eager bloggers, most of whom were adept at social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook, and had keen insights to the possibilities. “If there is one component WordPress is missing, something you would dearly love to see added, what would it be” – the answer that most resonated with me was ‘simple social media curation, right in WordPress’.
There are WordPress plugins like Embedly, Twitter search windows, Facebook feeds etc. that somewhat clunkily will take a search term from a single feed and embed the latest comments on any given topic, but not a simple system that allowed a blogger or journalist to gather together posts from multiple social media platforms. Of course, Storify has been around since – well, April 2011 – which has a boon for news junkies, pollsters, politicos, presenters – and used by some news organizations in an experimental fashion. The potential has been proven with PBS NewsHour, The Vancouver Sun, Al Jazeera using the system to collate social media responses to a news item, curating and essentially preserving a digital history.
As a public platform, Storify is not only for experts or large organizations. In fact is a fairly simple, understandable, drag and drop interface which can be used by anyone as a stand alone ‘story’, curating responses from Twitter, Facebook and Youtube from a local event to ultra-national such as the Occupy movement and demonstrations in the Middle East.
Now that Storify has a plugin for WordPress, the possibilities to create blog posts out of social media posts is realized, and maybe more importantly for bloggers (like myself) who like to add some opinion, to include a Storify embed, directly from the dashboard, adds a wonderful dimension to articles.
Note: as the news came out of the WP Storify plugin I added it to this website, which is normally accessed on Mac Lion OS 10.6.8 with Firefox 4.0.1 and it failed. The first time I’ve seen any WP plugin report a browser issue. The good part of this story was @Storify directly responded: and in fact updated the plugin the next day, although Firefox for older OS versions on Mac are still problematic.
How Storify Works in WordPress
After downloading, installing and activating the Storify WP plugin to your self-hosted WordPress system, a new dashboard tab will appear in the left side menu. Clicking on that tab will open the story window, where you can easily login to Storify using Twitter or Facebook (or a unique user name and password) accessing a similar search/drag and drop pane as in Storify itself. Simply search for a topic and grab the tweets, Facebook messages, Youtube videos and Flickr photos that are relevant to your social media curation.
Once you hit publish in the Storify plugin, a new blog post will appear with the link embeded, where you can add other content as in a regular post. (It will also be directly published on Storify as well) – alternatively you can create within Storify or WordPress, and embed, as per below:
Expect to see far more blogs and news orgs using WordPress combined with Storify to create stand alone articles; to supplement and enhance stories.
As always, comments and questions are welcome, and please do share examples!